Title

A study of burnout and elementary, middle, and secondary school counselors

Date of Completion

January 2003

Keywords

Education, Guidance and Counseling|Education, Educational Psychology

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceived intensity of burnout for school counselors. A review of the literature reveals an abundance of research on burnout for human service professionals. However, there are few studies, which investigate burnout for the school counselor. ^ The focus of this research was to determine whether or not differences exist among elementary, middle, and secondary school counselors in their perceived intensity of burnout as measured by the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Services Survey (MBI-HSS). This study also investigated whether or not differences exist among elementary, middle, and secondary school counselors with respect to supervision. The demographic variable of age, gender, ethnicity, marital status, years in present position, and total years in education are also included as descriptive data of the study sample. ^ The demographic data was analyzed with descriptive statistics, including means, frequencies, percentages, and standard deviations. One-way analysis of variance and Discriminant Functional Analysis were utilized to determine if there were any statistically significant differences among the three grade levels in regards to burnout and supervision. ^ The only statistically significant difference among elementary, middle, and secondary school counselors for the demographic data was in regards to gender. Findings show that there are more female school counselors at the elementary grade level than there are at the middle or secondary grade levels. ^ According to analysis findings, there are no statistically significant differences in the perceived intensity of burnout among elementary, middle, and secondary school counselors as measured by the Emotional Exhaustion or the Personal Accomplishment subscales. However, results of the ANOVA for Depersonalization and grade level showed statistically significant differences exist between elementary and secondary school counselors. Secondary school counselors' scores on the Depersonalization subscale were significantly higher than elementary school counselor scores. ^ There was also a statistically significant difference in the elementary grade level on the Emotional Exhaustion subscale. Emotional Exhaustion subscale scores were higher for the unsatisfactory supervision group than the no supervision or satisfactory supervision groups. ^ No statistically significant differences were found in the perceived availability or perceived satisfaction of supervision among the three grade levels. ^